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Kola Balogun, lawmaker representing Oyo south senatorial district, has opened up on what transpired between him and Seyi Makinde, governor of Oyo State.
According to the Ibadan-born former commissioner, it was when Bisi Ilaka, who had initially been pencilled down to fly the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, flag in Oyo central, threatened to tear the party apart that they consider Joseph Tegbe for Oyo South.
Oyovanguard had reported how Tegbe, a celebrated management consultant and partner at KMPG, had defected from the All Progressives Congress, APC, to the PDP and was initially considered for the Oyo central ticket.
But in an interview with Nigerian Tribune, said the governor and his men don’t have genuine reason not to allow him run again, adding that the worst they could have done was to allow primaries.
Asked why he was angry that he was shortchanged as he also got the ticket on a platter of gold in 2019, Balogun explained that “you know I was running for governorship from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to African Democratic Congress (ADC) and I had my structure in place. I had worked so hard in those two party platforms and this is a ticket, at that time, that nobody wanted to touch, if a ticket was so bad, if the party was so weak that they could not win an election, how could you describe that as getting it on a platter of gold? I took the risk; I took the bullet; they were begging me to come and take it. It is not that I got it on a platter of gold. It is a ticket that nobody wanted. I took the risk, took the bullet; and by the grace of God, it happened.”
Did Balogun call Makinde when it became obvious he was not going to get the ticket?
He noted that “Well, after the open meeting when he was appealing for us to step down and we were asked to go and speak with each other in a room, we came out when nobody was willing to step down for the other. Then, he formed a five-member committee which was chaired by Elder Wole Oyelese. Alhaja Bose Adedibu and Alhaja Mutiat Ladoja were members; I was asked to nominate a member and I nominated the governor’s brother; Nureni Adeniran nominated the father of the Youth and Sports commissioner. We met the next day. When the governor was leaving that day, I asked if I could go back the following day because a plenary was scheduled for the following day. He asked me not to go that if I do, it will seem as if I am not serious. He asked me to wait till after that meeting and he can go by afternoon flight. The next day, we had that meeting. First, the committee led by Elder Wole Oyelese spoke with us together and then they spoke with us separately. I was the first person they spoke to and they said they didn’t have much to say that they can’t ask me to step down for Nureni Adeniran, that he has to step down for me. I was asked to step out. They called in Nureni Adeniran and spent an hour persuading him arguing that they knew the risk of not having a ranking Senator in the district. They asked him to step down but because he had the so-called informal leaders behind him from the guest quarters, he didn’t step down. But, looking at the whole thing in retrospect, the governor was also one of those urging him to go on and not step down. This is because the same Nureni Adeniran that refused to step down for me stepped down for Joseph Tegbe the day after. What has changed? What is Tegbe bringing to the table? Has Tegbe ever won any election? Is he a politician? Is he all that respected and recognized from where he is coming from? Tegbe is just a consultant. What do you make of that? When this whole thing started, people advised me to try and speak with him. If you remember, they turned senatorial ticket to “Baba Ijebu”. They were playing lotto with it. Initially, they took it to Oyo Central, Bisi Ilaka kicked and threatened to tear the party apart, they brought it to Oyo South thinking that it will be easy. You can see they don’t have any genuine reason. When you take this kind of irregular, abnormal, absurd actions in politics, there are consequences.”